21st Century Leadership: 7 Questions for Evaluation

imgresLynn Joy McFarland, Larry E. Senn, and John R. Childress have written a well informed work entitled, 21st Century Leadership: Dialogues with 100 Top Leaders. As I was reading a portion of their book I was struck by the wisdom of seven sets of questions that are posed to help you in evaluating your 21st century leadership readiness. There is no doubt that the paradigms of leadership have changed in meaningful ways. Consider this quote provided by the authors to make the case:

I think the ideal leader for 21st century will be one who creates an environment that encourages everyone in the organization to stretch their capabilities and achieve a shared vision, who give people the confidence to run farther and faster than they ever have before, and who establishes the conditions for people to be more productive, more innovative, more creative and feel more in charge in their own lives than they ever dreamed possible.                                                                                                                                                                      Robert Crandall, Past Chairman and President of American Airlines

Here are seven sets of questions to help you in determining if you are adapting to 21st century leadership:

1. Am I paying enough attention to the subjective aspects of leadership, including the values, culture, and tone in my organization?

2. Am I doing all I can to bring out the best in others by valuing and respecting their differences and by motivating and inspiring them?

3. Am I a developmental leader who is coaching others on an ongoing basis?

4. Is my attitude toward change a healthy one? Do I see change as an opportunity vs. a threat? Am I an effective change master?

5. Would others say that I am living in integrity by walking my talk and modeling the values I espouse?

6. What other leadership dimensions should I be adding? How am I balancing my focus on results vs.people? My commitment to career vs. my personal life? How can I improve my business skills, my physical fitness, my relationships, and my inner self?

7. Am I a leader in a big enough game? How can I make more of a difference in my family, organization, community, and the world?

At the midpoint of the year, these questions are worthy of reflection. What are your thoughts?

7 replies
  1. Bud Brown
    Bud Brown says:

    Thought provoking questions. This would be a great tool to use in group sessions with pastors who want to improve their leadership.

    I would refine #6 just a teensy bit: “What leadership skills do I need to acquire or polish? Do I have a written professional development plan that will help me improve in these areas?”

  2. chares stone
    chares stone says:

    Great post. 3 and 6 really good–I believe every leader should often put his coach hat on to develop others and 6-so often we focus on results at the expense of developing people


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  1. […] 21st Century Leadership: 7 Questions for Evaluation  This post arose from some reading I have been doing from a book by McFarland, Senn, and Childress. The questions serve as a great mid year evaluation to see if you are growing and adapting for the 21st century reality. […]

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